...TO THOSE WHO WAIT
Two unrelated reviews of the Nintendo's new Wii game system (Slate), and Sony's new Playstation 3 (PS3) system (New York Times), make me feel less bad about missing out on the latest bit of gadget-driven fun.
The media in recent days has been rife with reports of eager fans waiting for days in line to get their hands on either system.
After all, to miss out on the Wii was to miss out on trying out the novel, motion-sensing wireless controllers that gave users a whole new way to interact with a game.
And to miss out on the PS3, was to miss out on the most powerful gaming computer ever designed...why it almost has super-computer powers if adapted in certain ways.
As the New York Times article by Seth Schiesel puts it:
"Measured in megaflops, gigabytes and other technical benchmarks, the PlayStation 3 is certainly the world’s most powerful game console. It falls far short, however, of providing the world’s most engaging overall entertainment experience. There is a big difference, and Sony seems to have confused one for the other."
Indeed, Seth goes on to praise Microsoft's XBox 360 vs. the PS3 in ways reminiscent of reviews of an Apple computer vs. a Windows one:
Microsoft, the prototypical PC company, has made the Xbox 360 into a powerful but intuitive, welcoming, people-friendly system. Sony’s PlayStation 3, on the other hand, often feels like a brawny but somewhat recalcitrant specialized computer. (Sony is even telling users to wait for future software patches to fix some of the PS3’s deficiencies.)
Nintendo's Wii system also gets poor marks by it's reviewer Erik Sofge of Slate:
"The ugly truth is that the Wii's already-legendary motion-detection system doesn't work very well...
The Wii Remote is the most advanced motion-sensing device in the history of gaming, but in the interests of accommodating almost unlimited variables, from the size of the TV to the player's physical proportions, the Wii tosses out much of the data that are collected. Depending on what's going on in the game, only a narrow range of your physical input is converted to on-screen action. Which is why I could hit one-handed home runs without winding up or following through."
Both articles suggest that given time, each system will likely better address it's flaws through game system software updates, and better games designed by third parties. If you're chomping at the bit for either of the systems, the respective review is recommended.
In the meantime, the reviews give those of us without these machines, a reason to feel better about waiting. Not to mention cranking up the tried and true XBox 360.